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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1363416



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Swale

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Sheldwich

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 27-Aug-1952

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 176895

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



1/97 Lees Court 27.8.52 GV I

House, now flats. Completed c.1652 for Sir George Sondes, rebuilt 1912. Reconstruction by Edward Hoare and Montague Wheeler. Brick, rendered, with pilaster bases and capitals and doorcase of ashlar. Slated roof. Built, following a pre C17 plan around a courtyard. Two storeys, of 13 bays separated by giant Ionic pilasters, with moulded bases, and large swags between volutes of capitals. Entablature with enriched cornice brackets to large overhanging eaves and hipped roof with 8 stacks ranged on ridge and to rear. Regular fenestration of 13 glazing bar sashes on each floor, without surrounds or mouldings. The centre 4 on ground floor are raised slightly. Central half-glazed door with moulded stone surround, and scrolled pediment, enriched, enclosing central cartouche. Right return: constructed 1912 by Hoare as new entrance frontin Baroque style. Large Doric portico in 2 stages, with large Venetian window to left. Rear courtyard, reconstructed 1912, domestic in character. Interior: entirely rebuilt 1912, and since converted to flats. Entrance hall with internal arcaded porch, and Doric screens to rear of hall and Ionic screen (now infilled) at head of stairs. Heavy wooden staircase on Imperial plan, with pendant newels and pierced balustrades with heraldic heasts. Central hall, behind front entrance, with ceiling reproducing C17 design, but lowered, with cross-beams and large central oval, all enriched. The amount of structural reconstruction is difficult to assess, but the front facade seems to be original, certainly the bases of the pilasters have molten lead on them fron the fire of 1911 which destroyed the house. Interiors and roof certainly rebuilt. Attributed to Inigo Jones (Hasted) or John Webb (C. Hussey, 1922). The use of a giant order, the impurity of proportion and the Ionic capitals, the irregularity of planning suggest neither of these architects. Hussey compared interiors of original with Thorpe Hall, Northants; c.1653-6. The swagged capitals are alsoused internally there and externallyat Lindsey House, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, c.1640, both buildings associated with Peter Mills bricklayer and architect in the City of London. He also built the central block at Cobham Hall, with giant pilasters, and similar doorcase (See B.0.E. Kent I, 233). Sir George Sondes's connections were with the City of London, marrying the daughter of a Lord Mayor. The peculiar form of roof appears to be a compromise for the original intention of a balustraded roof with higher pitched hip. (See Badeslade's engraving in Harris's History of Kent, 1719). The gardens laid out 1908 onwards by Thomas Mawson, and illustrated in "The Art and Craft of Garden Making" (See Country Life, August 12th and August 19th 1922; See also B.O.E. Kent II 1983, 370-1).

Listing NGR: TR0167955885

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Harris, J, The History of Kent in 5 parts, (1719)
Hasted, E, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, (1799)
Hasted, E, History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent, (1801)
Newman, J, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, (1983), 233
Newman, J, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, (1983), 370-1
'Country Life' in 12 August, (1922)
'Country Life' in 19 August, (1922)

National Grid Reference: TR 02036 56066


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End of official listing